Bridgestone Incident Case Study

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The public relations profession is one that has garnered scrutiny for many decades. While the profession can be conducted with class, dignity and transparency, many instances involving lapse of judgement and honesty have added to the negative reputation. One such instance was the Bridgestone Tire incident of 2000. This event was particularly disastrous due to the nature of the problem, its effect on consumers, and the lack of action taken. This case is important to examine in regards to public relations because of the company’s ethical failures as well. The Bridgestone Tire incident occurred when the Bridgestone Tire company announced that it was recalling multiple tire models in early August of 2000. The tires in particular that were recalled were popular models commonly used by various car brands such as Ford, Subaru, Toyota and Nissan. The tire brand was nationally and internationally trusted for their safety however, their tires were not as safe as people believed they were. It was revealed that the tires were faulty and could be directly responsible for multiple deaths. Globally, the tires could be blamed for as many as 150 deaths according to Bradsher(2000).…show more content…
One aspect of ethics is transparency. Transparency is such an important part of public relations because it does not leave room for a company to be caught in a lie, or in this example, a lie of omission. The company failed because they chose to remain silent on the issues their tires exhibited despite the fact that they had plenty of information and warnings. They deliberately sold a product that had the potential to hurt people yet they continued to sell it for years. During this time they were lying to their customers by assuring them that the tires were safe. By not being transparent with their consumers, trust between the company and their publics is
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